The Problem With ‘Mobility as a Service’

Numerous transportation operators have sought to refashion themselves as MaaS platforms, as when Uber’s Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi referred to his company as “the Amazon for transportation.” But they face skepticism that they can be unbiased brokers of urban trips. A few transit agencies, such as those in Berlin and Louisville, have gotten into the MaaS game too, though such agencies generally have an unimpressive record building complex, user-facing software…

But MaaS’s momentum (“MaaSmentum”?) is at risk of stalling. To date, MaaS companies have found limited traction among urban residents, even in favorable markets. In Antwerp, Belgium, for example, local law requires mobility operators to integrate with at least two MaaS platforms, but in the surrounding region of Flanders just 3% of transit tickets purchased on mobile phones are bought through a MaaS app.